NASCAR driver injured and brother killed in Mexico wreck
A Nascar driver was injured and his younger brother was killed in a car crash in Mexico.
Max Gutiérrez, 20, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the collision with a pickup truck but Federico Gutiérrez, 17, passed away. The older brother was airlifted to a hospital in Mexico City after the incident on Sunday, according to Nascar.com.
The older brother competed in four Nascar Craftsman Truck Series races last year, driving for AM Racing. He has raced in the ARCA Menards Series multiple times. In 2021, he won the ARCA Menards Series East race at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Federico Gutiérrez, called “Fico”, drove in the Mexico Truck Series. Max Gutiérrez won the Mexico Truck Series championship in 2018.
“We are devastated by the loss of our friend and driver Federico Gutiérrez Hoppe,” Nascar said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gutiérrez family during this difficult time.”
The 17-year-old won the Mexico Truck Series last season, according to EssentiallySports.
The brothers were travelling in a Porshe Boxster close to Valle de Bravo, about 60 miles west of Mexico City, when they collided with a Ford Explorer pickup truck, motorsport.com reported.
Federico Gutiérrez was behind the wheel in the Porsche and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
A man, 80, his wife, 65, and another woman, 41, all unnamed, were in the truck. One of them was taken by helicopter to a Mexico City hospital while the 41-year-old was taken by ambulance to the Valle de Bravo General Hospital.
Nascar driver Noah Gragson tweeted: “Heartbroken to hear the news about Fico and Max. Have become great friends with them. Thinking about the Gutierrez family and max with his recovery.”
Driving alongside his brother, Fico became the youngest driver to take part in the 24 Hours of Mexico race in 2019 at the age of 13, motorsport.com reported.
In a statement, Rette Jones Racing said it “offers its deepest sympathies to the Gutierrez family for the loss of their son, Federico”.
— Rette Jones Racing (@RetteJones30) January 30, 2023
“Fico was not only a fierce competitor, but also a friend and forever a member of our racing family. He will be sorely missed,” they added. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family, but also with Max during his recovery and grieving process.”
Nascar reporter Chris Knight wrote on Twitter: “I met Fico Gutierrez in 2021 and he was so grateful to have the opportunity to race in the United States. His huge smile and polite demeanor will be my greatest memory of him. I am keeping the family and especially Max in my thoughts and prayers. RIP.”